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Nigeria First to Endorse A4AI ‘1 for 2’ Affordability Internet Target



Arch. Sunday Echono, permanent secretary of Federal Ministry of Communications (Nigeria) delivers a speech on behalf of Barrister Adebayo Shittu, the Minister at the A4AI-Nigeria Coalition meeting in Abuja, recently.

In 2016, The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) called on countries to adopt a new, more ambitious target for what counts as ‘affordable’ internet access — a 1GB bundle costing no more than 2% of monthly incomes, or “1 for 2”.

Nigeria recently became the first nation to formally endorse this target.

A4AI is a broad coalition of member organisations from across the civil society, public, and private sectors. Through a combination of advocacy, research and knowledge sharing, A4AI works together to enable affordable Internet access for everyone, everywhere.

The Body also congratulated Nigeria for her vision in taking this step, and “we stand ready to help make it a reality for all of her citizens,” A4AI said.

To decide on the target, A4AI ‘2015-16 Affordability Report’ showed that at this level, broadband is likely to be affordable to most, or all, population groups.

By contrast, its research showed that the current UN-agreed target of 500MBs for 5% or less of income is likely to restrict access to the relatively well-off, while also severely restricting the amount of time people can spend online.

Recognising this, a speech by Barrister Adebayo Shittu, Nigeria’s minister of Communications, delivered by Arch. Sunday Echono, permanent secretary in the Ministry, at the A4AI-Nigeria Coalition meeting on January, 2017 noted, “Consequently, A4AI and the Ministry share the common goal to make the Internet universally affordable for all who want to use it. This goal is quantified in a measure of having 1 Gigabyte of bandwidth not costing more than 2% of a person’s monthly income.”

The Body described the commitment as a significant step forward. “A4AI’s 80+ local coalition members — drawn from the public sector, private sector and civil society — are committed to helping the Ministry translate this target into benefits for all Nigerians. What is more, ECOWAS has also formally endorsed the target and recommended it for adoption by its 16 member states, and so we hope to see similar commitments from other West African nations soon”.

Earlier, A4AI report indicated that a new affordability target is needed to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 9c

The UN Broadband Commission currently defines broadband as affordable if an entry-level (500MB) data plan is available at less than 5% of average monthly income (i.e., GNI per capita). However, this definition of affordability does not account for poverty and income inequality — two major challenges facing the world today.

As the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) 2015-16 Affordability Report shows, assessing affordability using the current measure can be misleading.

In South Africa, for example, average income (as measured by GNI per capita in 2014) was US$6790, but 60% of the population actually earn less than half of that amount.

In practice, this means that a seemingly affordable mobile Internet connection (priced at 1.48% of “average” monthly income) actually costs the majority of South Africans anywhere between 6-19% of their income.

The idea of a national “average” income is further skewed by gender inequality in earnings; across the globe, women earn 30-50% less than their male counterparts.

This means that a country can meet the UN’s top-level affordability target, but still see a significant proportion of its population unable to afford to connect to the Internet.

The “1 for 2” target ensures that income is not a barrier to access

“The current 5% affordability target is insufficient in a world where income inequality is increasing. Even in countries that have achieved the 5% target, entry-level broadband (500MB) is still too expensive for at least the bottom 20% of income earners in the country — and much too often remains out of reach for all those except the top 20% of income earners.

Using a national average income does not account for income inequality and the unequal distribution of income found across many countries.

“Unfortunately, the reality is that country data on income distribution is limited; as a result, using a national average (i.e., GNI per capita) remains the most effective measure for tracking progress. The national average measure, however, must move below the current 5% threshold for the reasons mentioned above.

“In determining what a more accurate target should be, A4AI analysis shows that when prices drop to 2% or less of GNI per capita, all levels of income earners, including the bottom 20%, can afford a basic broadband connection. At the 4% and 3% levels, mobile broadband remains unaffordable for the bottom 20% of income earners in several countries.  A more ambitious 2% threshold will allow a broadband connection to become truly affordable for all income groups, enabling billions more to come online,” the Body posted on its website.


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Visa Launches ID Intelligence for Smarter Customer Authentication



Visa has launched Visa ID Intelligence, a platform that lets issuers, acquirers and merchants quickly adopt emerging authentication technologies, according to a press release.

Available through Visa Developer Platform, Visa ID Intelligence offers a curated selection of third-party authentication technologies that feature simple integration with Visa APIs and SDKs. This allows clients to create, test and adopt new authentication solutions.

This ultimately helps financial institutions and merchants to adopt effective and secure solutions and accelerate time-to-market with streamlined on boarding and implementation through Visa as a single trusted source, the company said.

Visa ID Intelligence features include: Identity Documents— the platform evaluates identification documents and matches selfies to photo IDs, while extracting document information and converting it into digital form.

Uses include creating new accounts, and performing password reset and lost or stolen card replacement.

-Biometrics — Visa ID Intelligence allows clients to use eye, face, fingerprint and voice to meet consumer needs for convenience, security and speed in authentication.

Uses include app login, payments, step-up authentication, and more.

“Traditional methods for authenticating a customer can create frustration or are simply not designed for the new ways people are shopping and paying. We built Visa ID Intelligence to help accelerate smarter and easy-to-use authentication solutions for any commerce environment — to better protect against fraud and to move closer to a world without passwords,” Mark Nelson, Visa senior vice president of risk and authentication products, said in the release.

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ESET Works With Google To Protect Chrome Against Dangerous Malware



By peter oluka

ESET, a leading global cybersecurity company, on Thursday launches Chrome Cleanup, a new scanner and cleaner for Google Chrome designed to help users browse the web safely and without interruption.

Chrome Cleanup will be available for all Google Chrome users running on Windows.

As cyber-attacks become more complex and difficult to spot, browsing the web can lead users to dangerous sites which can install malicious software onto devices.

Chrome Cleanup will alert Google Chrome users to potential threats when it detects unwanted software.

Google Chrome will then give users the option to remove the software. Chrome Cleanup operates in the background, without visibility or interruptions to the user. It deletes the software and notifies the user once the cleanup has been successfully completed.

“Using the internet should always be a smooth and safe experience for everyone,” said Juraj Malcho, chief technology officer at ESET. “For three decades, ESET has developed a number of security solutions that allow users to safely enjoy their technology and to mitigate a variety of cyber threats. Chrome Cleanup addresses unwanted software that can negatively influence a users’ experience on the internet.”

Chrome Cleanup is included in the latest version of Google Chrome. For more information about these tools, read Google’s blog post, here.

For 30 years, ESET® has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services for businesses and consumers worldwide.

With solutions ranging from endpoint and mobile security, to encryption and two-factor authentication, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use products give consumers and businesses the peace of mind to enjoy the full potential of their technology.

ESET unobtrusively protects and monitors 24/7, updating defenses in real-time to keep users safe and businesses running without interruption. Evolving threats require an evolving IT security company.

Backed by R&D centers worldwide, ESET becomes the first IT security company to earn 100 Virus Bulletin VB100awards, identifying every single “in-the-wild” malware without interruption since 2003.

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A Buyer’s Market in the Global Economics of DDoS Attacks



It’s a buyer’s market in the local property arena at the moment, according to certain industry experts.


This is largely as a result of the slower economy, which has seen a rise in the number of properties for sale.


But did you know that globally, it’s a buyer’s market as well when we look at the economics of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks? The second, of course, is an underground market, largely regarded as a criminal one.


So said Bryan Hamman, Arbor Network’s territory manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.


Referring to recently released information from Arbor Networks, he said, “It is interesting to analyse the current economics in global DDoS attacks, which are attempts to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. Most people who are aware of DDoS attacks understand that there will be a perpetrator and a target.


“However, we’re now seeing a growing number of third-party providers of DDoS attacks as a service, who advertise their abilities online in order to either sell would-be attackers access to the tools needed to conduct a DDoS attack, or who perform the attack themselves on the customer’s behalf and provide reports afterwards.”


Hamman noted  that the fees of these underworld providers are lessening, due to rapidly expanding competition and the supply of readily available attack resources such as botnets. As a result, he says, the DDoS business is currently a buyer’s market.


Arbor reported that the prices for attack services, sometimes called “stressers” or “booters” vary widely, as do estimates of the total cost of an attack to the victim. But the economics are simple: DDoS attacks are becoming cheaper than ever for the perpetrator; are extremely lucrative for the attack service provider, and potentially financially devastating for the target.


Arbor noted that an increasing number of operators resemble legitimate service provider infrastructures with significant computing power, typically running their own botnet armies to unleash DDoS attacks. Perpetrators can essentially rent the providers’ botnets by the hour, day or week, or in some cases can buy a specific number of bots outright. The mechanics of transactions follow a classic web service model, meaning the perpetrator and the provider need never come in contact.


Providers that conduct attacks-as-a-service even post their services online, with tiered pricing reflecting the different types of attack that they offer. Prices are based on several factors. They can include the duration of the attack, the perceived value of the target, the country in which the attack takes place and/or the different methodologies employed.


In Arbor Networks 12th annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report, 59 percent of respondents estimated their downtime costs as being more than USD500/ minute in lost revenue (some ZAR6,700 per minute with the rand/dollar exchange rate on around ZAR13.50 to the dollar), with some indicating even higher losses. This also does not factor in the costs of repairing the damage, potential legal costs of settling with customers denied service, or reputational damage to the company’s brand.


Hamman concluded, “Here in South Africa, we may not yet face the overtness of DDoS operators advertising their services, as can be seen in the US. However, this does not mean that local companies shouldn’t be vigilant against DDoS attacks – protection is more vital than ever. A hybrid solution that combines on-premises and cloud-based protection is the industry best practice in DDoS defence. When you accept that DDoS attacks aren’t going away, and in fact are projected to escalate, it makes the best economic sense of all to make sure that you are adequately prepared against a DDoS attack.”


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